NFL fans around the country are awaiting the decision of Brian Westbrook as to where he will be playing next season. Reports came out last week that he is expected to make a decision this week, and many of you here in Denver hope he chooses the orange and blue. Brian has visited with the Rams, Redskins and Broncos, and passed a physical while in St. Louis. The Green Bay Packers are also interested in him, but have yet to bring him in for a work out. Many NFL fans would agree that the Broncos can use all of the above average talent they can get with the recent departures of Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler. But from a logical standpoint, Westbrook wouldn’t be a smart acquisition for the Broncos for several reasons, nor do I see him choosing Denver over Washington or Green Bay.
Before you kill me here, let’s look at this team and Westbrook and ask, how, what, and why? How much does Westbrook have left, and what can he bring to a team with question marks on both sides of the ball? Denver no longer has the weapons on offense to keep 8 or 9 guys out of the box, and the offensive line has been hit with injuries and retirement to key starters lately. Let’s not forget the QB situation either, Orton is nice, but he has his limitations which hamper the offense at times. This is not a good mix for an aging running back with injury issues, who has had major concussions lately. Why would Westbrook want to play for a team that isn’t a contender in a tough AFC Conference, when he can go to Washington or Green Bay and have a shot at a ring? Josh McDaniels has completely overhauled this team with talented and smart young guys who need time to grow. I can’t see Westbrook playing the remaining few years of his career on a team that’s still developing.
The last question is what is the purpose of signing him and having him take snaps away from Knowshon Moreno? You spend a top 15 pick on a running back that has the potential to be the franchise running back, and you want to have him split carries with two former Philadelphia Eagle injury riddled running backs? First of all, that’s counterproductive to the development of Moreno and the team. Secondly, there is a reason why Andy Reid released both Buckhalter and now Westbrook. Running backs have a short shelf life and as the injuries start to pile up, they become less effective and their career gets shorter. My mom used to always tell me as a kid, “Be careful when you’re buying another man’s trash no matter how nice it still looks”. Some would say that he would bring veteran leadership to the offensive side of the ball. Maybe so, but is it worth slowing down Moreno’s development in lieu of that?
If I am wrong and Westbrook does sign with Denver, so be it. There will be lots of excitement and an air of optimism around the city as we head into the summer. In a football town that is dying for a playoff team and a winner, optimism is good. I am just letting you know that not all that glitters is gold. So take this potential acquisition with a grain of salt, and have a wait and see approach going into the summer.